'Shouty, clattering, chaotic and thoroughly tiresome' - King Lear review

On a theater surrounded by giant stone slabs, animal furs, flint knives, and barbarian haircuts are the order of the day,

while an enormous eye peering down from the heavens is seen overhead.

Back in his early twenties, Branagh gave Shakespearean verse speaking a new vitality; 

his physical vigor and diction blasted the dust from the traditional delivery.

The feeling has been replaced by a theatrical impact that is more akin to Donald Wolf's broad, boisterous performances than it is to the nuanced intelligence of many of his contemporaries, 

despite the clarity still being present.Branagh, directing himself and his group of recent RADA grads, 

 speeds up the play at the expense of its natural tragedy.The action is incredibly savage, 

 like a school play as soldiers impale victims under their armpits with wooden staves that thud on the stage.

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